How To Determine The Sex Of The Aquatic Red-Eared Turtle

Long-term aquarist

The historical homeland of the red-eared turtle is the USA and Central America, therefore animals are often called American. In nature, the red-eared turtle has a long life span. Before buying an animal, you should find out how to properly keep it, how to determine the sex of the red-eared turtle in case breeding is planned, and to clarify the diet. When getting a pet at home, it is necessary to create for him quality conditions that will be similar to living in nature.

How To Determine The Sex Of The Aquatic Red-Eared Turtle

Rubella tortoises hailing from their usa

What you need to know before buying

The turtle needs not only water, but also land. The terrarium should be warm. Care at home for the animal is simple, you must adhere to simple rules. It is better for a beginner to purchase yellow-bellied breed. In winter, the reptile does not hibernate. Most of the time, the reptile is in the water, so you need to make sure that the water is clean and at the right temperature. What you need to know before buying:

  1. Turtles are active animals, at times they show aggression.
  2. When a small turtle is bought, its diameter is no more than 2 cm. But it must be borne in mind that over time its size will reach more than the human palm, so the aquarium for the animal should be the right size.

In captivity, the red-eared turtle has been living for more than 30 years, so it will require careful and serious care. Before buying, you need to think about whether the animal is so necessary.


In a red-eared turtle, a red stripe, which is located on the neck, is considered a distinctive feature. If the turtle is young, then it is bright in color. The shell is round and smooth, its color is black with yellow and green stains. The older the animal, the darker the shell. Carapace Length Value:

  1. It is not an indicator of age, because at home, with good care, the turtle quickly reaches large sizes.
  2. In nature, the size of the shell depends on the circumstances of the residence, health and care features.
How To Determine The Sex Of The Aquatic Red-Eared Turtle

The water temperature in the terrarium should be maintained depending on the age of the animal and the time of year. In summer and autumn, the temperature of the liquid should be as warm as possible. If the turtle is young, then the water should always be at the optimum temperature.

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When the tortoise is small, nutrition is especially important for it. The diet should consist of plant foods. When the size of the reptile reaches 10 cm, you need to gradually add animal food. Closer to old age, only plant foods should remain on the menu.

How To Determine The Sex Of The Aquatic Red-Eared Turtle

The diet of small turtles should be vegetable

Size measurement

When the turtle is small, the size of the water reptile is determined using a ruler. To determine the length, you need to measure the shell, but this does not take into account its irregularities. When a turtle is just born, it reaches 3 cm in length. In the middle of the life cycle, its size is 22 cm. Life expectancy and the largest size depend on the quality of life. The better the care of the reptile, the larger it reaches. Life span:

  1. All turtles live differently, but with good care at home, the age reaches 30 years.
  2. In the wild, turtles usually do not live to be 20 years old.
  3. Domestic turtles are usually larger than wild turtles.
  4. What size the turtle will reach and how many years it will live depends on the quality of care and the efforts of the owner.

Water Reptile Care

A turtle is an aggressive animal that does not have a friendly character. And if you keep two turtles in one terrarium, then, most likely, they will not get along together. Between them there will be constant brawls, especially such behavior is noticeable in adulthood. Specialists recommend keeping turtles separate from each other. If it is not possible to put two aquariums next to each other, then in one container a transparent partition is placed so that the animals cannot harm each other during a brawl. How to breed reptiles:

  1. One terrarium should contain turtles of about the same age.
  2. Their size should also be the same.
  3. If a single aquarium contains several reptiles, then among them there should be only one male.
Read more:  How To Care For A Red-Eared Tortoise

If a snake, toad, lizard or frog is hooked to a reptile, then the tortoise will perceive them as food.

How To Determine The Sex Of The Aquatic Red-Eared Turtle

Trachemys are aggressive

Sex determination

If the reptile is young, then its gender is very difficult to establish. Mature age occurs 8 or 9 years after birth. It is at this age that it is possible to say with precision what gender the reptile is. Usually, experts distinguish between male and female according to their appearance, they are present in each representative of reptiles. Special gender differences:

  1. By the color of the shell.
  2. By its size.
  3. By the shade of the nose.
  4. By the location of the flesh.
  5. In size and type of tail.
  6. On the head.

If you consider in detail all the signs, then determining the sex of the animal will not be difficult.

Claw length

On the hind limbs, their length is small, but in the male they are sharper and longer. Boys need long claws to gain a foothold on the carapace of the female during mating. But this method of determining sex is unreliable, because the claws of young reptiles are not fully formed. And an adult animal can grind them on hard ground. Males have protrusions on their paws, and small scales can be found on the hind legs. Determine the sex of the turtle by the lower abdominal part of the shell. In boys it is concave, and in girls it is straight. The differences in the shell:

  1. In males, it is long, in the rear part near the tail forms the letter V.
  2. And in females it is rounded and larger.
  3. The shell is adapted for carrying offspring. Females at the end of the “house” have special holes that are needed for laying eggs.

You can distinguish the gender of the red-eared turtle by size. As a rule, males are smaller than females. An exception is some types. And also the difference is the color of the plastron, that is, the bottom of the shell. In boys, it is blue. Cesspool and tail – the most reliable way to distinguish the sex of a turtle.

  1. In females, the outgrowth in the back of the trunk is more oblong, and the tip and base are wide.
  2. The female cesspool is located closer to the beginning of the tail and somewhat resembles an asterisk.
  3. The anus is wide so that eggs can be laid.
  4. The male cesspool is similar to the longitudinal line; it is located posterior closer to the end of the process.
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Character differences

Females usually have a more relaxed disposition, they are less mobile, friendly. And males are more aggressive. When the breeding season begins, the males attract the attention of the females, biting their neck, and nod. Male behavior in mating games:

  1. They can squeak to attract females.
  2. Some females make sounds during mating.

Other signs

There are other methods for distinguishing a female from a male red-eared turtle. For example, this can be done according to the iris of the eye – in different sexes, the color of the eyes is different. Females have a yellow nose. In males it is pointed and small. The male usually has a larger head, and the red stripe is brighter. During breeding, it acquires a rich scarlet color. In females, the head color is paler, and the red stripe is not so prominent.

A rare method to find out gender is a blood test and radiography. This technique cannot be used until the age of seven, because the males have not yet matured testes, and the females have ovaries.

How To Determine The Sex Of The Aquatic Red-Eared Turtle

A blood test will not help to find out the sex of the turtle until she is less than seven years old

  1. When the age of puberty is reached, then you can understand the gender from a reptile blood test.
  2. There is also a method for determining sex using ultrasound.

The differences are especially visible when comparing several animals. Sometimes the individual characteristics of several individuals are similar, so it is better to check gender at once for all factors. If the animal has the wrong living conditions, then the reptile may have a hormonal malfunction. Then only an experienced veterinarian can determine the sex of the animal.

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